Succession Planning

Identifying & Developing Top Talent for Critical Roles

“We hired LSA Global to help our long-term client identify root causes and develop an action plan for improving their leadership bench strength in face of high attrition and a changing marketplace. LSA’s succession planning expertise was a 10-out-of-10.

Their recommendations in the areas of attracting and recruiting the right talent, hiring and promoting the best talent, employee development, performance management, knowledge management and succession planning were right on target. I would recommend LSA to anyone looking to take their talent management practices to the next level.”
Director | Risk Advisory Services | Global Audit, Tax and Consulting Firm

Successful organizations make sure that they have the right people in the right positions to propel the business forward.  That includes building internal bench strength, filling the talent pipeline, and being prepared for planned and unplanned personnel changes. Done right, succession planning should be the fastest, cheapest and most reliable way to get well-qualified talent into open positions.

Unfortunately, very few companies have an effective or strategic succession planning process.

Succession planning is a critical component of an overall talent management strategy which aims to attract, develop, engage and retain top talent to execute the business strategy in a way that aligns with the organizational culture.

Succession planning focuses on identifying and developing internal talent with the potential to fill key business leadership positions in the organization. Succession planning increases the availability of experienced and capable employees through effective development of the high-potential employees, so that they are prepared to assume leadership roles as they become available. Done right, succession planning helps build the bench strength to ensure the long-term health, growth and stability of an organization.

Effective succession planning typically includes five major steps:

1. Identify Key Metrics to Move: Succession planning projects should start with clearly defined, relevant, meaningful and agreed-to success metrics that align with the overall business and talent strategies.  That means fully engaging your stakeholders to get the proper level of buy-in and alignment compared to other business priorities. Typical stakeholders include the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer, the Chief People Officer and the Head of Talent, Senior Executives, front-line managers, and employees.

2. Define Critical and Strategic Jobs – Now and in the Future: Once success metrics have been defined, it is time to identify your most critical and strategic roles to ensure success today and in the future based upon your strategic business plan and key assumptions about the future.  The goal is to get clear agreement and alignment about the critical few difference-making roles.

3.  Define Core Competencies – Now and in the Future: Once you have agreement on your most critical and strategic jobs, the next step is to clearly define the most important current and future competencies, skills, knowledge, behaviors, attitudes and experiences necessary to succeed in those roles.  Once again, less is more in this stage.  Look for the critical few that matter most for your unique situation, not an exhaustive list.

4. Conduct a Talent Review: Based upon the metrics to move and the desired current and future competencies, the next step is to review your current talent and jobs to understand the performance, potential, aspirations and issues with your current workforce and organizational structure.  The objective is to identify talent and structure strengths and weaknesses, spot and groom high potentials early, mitigate retention risks, and establish talent pools by levels based on the strategic strengths of the organization.

5. Create a Succession Plan:  After you have mapped your current and future talent gaps, it is time to create and execute a succession plan for consistently identifying and developing targeted internal talent with the potential to fill key business leadership positions in the organization.  This includes ensuring that you create structured development plans and curated development experiences to truly prepare your talent for the future. Targeted development plays a critical role in succession planning and often gets overlooked or is not fully implemented.

The entire succession planning program should be reviewed and adjusted (typically annually) in concert with the overall business and talent strategic planning processes.

Ask us about Leadership Development Pay-for-Performance options and how to move the leadership metrics that you care most about.  Typical metrics that we move include:

  • Sales revenue, margin, win rate, portfolio mix, deal size, and sales cycle.
  • Customer acquisition, loyalty, growth, and satisfaction.
  • Leadership execution effectiveness of key corporate strategies.
  • Employee attraction, development, performance, engagement and retention.
  • Project cost, quality, and time.

Related Information

Redwood Trust looked to LSA Global as a consulting partner to help us explore innovative and scholarly approaches to promote employee engagement and sustain the unique culture we’ve built over the last decade.

LSA helped us perpetuate coaching as a discipline across the organization by integrating our core values, goal setting and performance measurement metrics under an interactive coaching program.

We appreciate LSA’s commitment to cutting-edge practices and keeping us in step with the progressive front of our rapidly changing workplace environment.

Rosalyn Chan
Vice President, Human Resources

Redwood Trust

“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”

Sally Buchannan
VP Human Resources

LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources

Hyperion

LSA demonstrated the criticality for executives to look beyond current ethics topics and focus on applying fundamental values in everything they do to demonstrate true leadership. They successfully delivered in two hours what most leadership development presenters would spend an entire day trying to communicate.

Nick Voyvodich, SPHR
HR Manager

Fujitsu

The customized leadership program was very practical and achieved our goals. LSA adapted very well to our group and the situation and helped us build trust and awareness of successful leadership styles. We look forward to the next steps.

Erik Okholm
Director of Software Development

We have had a very beneficial partnership with LSA for over 2 years. The recent Leadership Development Program that they designed and customized with us to help us identify, develop, and retain top leaders in the organization was a huge success. It was instrumental in helping take our company and our key people to the next level. I would recommend their training and consulting services to anyone looking to develop and retain top talent.

Steve Janowsky
Vice President of Operations

Proxicom

I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.

Tracy Esposito
Director, HR Business Partner

Having tripled in size and recently merged, LSA helped our executive team to increase our level of strategic alignment, solidify our new direction and push our agency forward. As we look to rapidly scale, the clear and actionable critical few strategic moves combined with how we differentiate ourselves to our top accounts and target clients has really set us on a great path to success. This is exactly what we needed to get to the next level.

Matt Britton
CEO

Thank you for a great leadership development session today. The facilitator was brilliant, and we really enjoyed his style and personality. The sales team got a lot out of it (as did I). I believe it will help us create an even higher performance environment by ensuring we have a common understanding of our environmental structure and are all working towards the same goals.

Simon Jefferson
Managing Director

AKQA

The customized leadership styles and coaching program was the best training that I have ever attended. The facilitators were phenomenal. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge coupled with compassionate and caring styles. I’d highly recommend this leadership training program to any manager, director, or executive looking for a life changing leadership program.

Shoaleh Ghaffari
Director, HR

Cutera

You have become our premier change leadership strategic partner. Your expertise in the human side of change is unparalleled and enabled our company to successfully implement our ERP Solution.

Ted Ramlet
CIO & SVP

McKesson

I contacted LSA to help us with leadership development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would match our needs as well as our personality. The solution was such a huge success. It received rave reviews. I would highly recommend LSA to other companies.

Karen King, SPHR
Manager, Human Resources

Alliance Data

LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”

Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources

Thoratec

We reviewed the top Leadership Development offerings for one of our Senior Research Scientists and selected LSA’s 12 month Leadership Program based upon the value and systemic approach. The feedback on the program, approach, and results was phenomenal. While the other programs better known, they were more theoretical and did not compare in terms of practicality, quality, and results.

Stacey Porter
Senior Manager Learning and Development

Roche

Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.

Sarah Parks
Senior Project Manager

Hyperion

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More